September 9th, 2011
10:21 AM ET

Is the Paleo diet healthy?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Question asked by Courtney L. from Pittsburgh:

I am obese and have been working on losing weight for three years. I have been working with nutritionists and personal trainers instead of fad dieting. On the Web, I stumbled upon the Paleolithic (Paleo) diet. Is this lifestyle change beneficial despite the promotion of saturated fats and cholesterol?

Expert answer

Hi, Courtney. I applaud you for staying away from fad diets in an attempt to lose weight. Most fad diets are simply not sustainable long term, which leads to weight regain, and their impact on overall health has not been established.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Paleo diet falls into the fad diet category.

While there are many different versions of the diet with slightly different rules, the general principle of the diet involves eating foods that can be hunted and fished (meat, seafood - grass-fed, wild and organic are encouraged) or gathered (eggs, fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables and herbs).

Dairy, legumes, salt, grains, refined sugar, processed oils, potatoes (including sweet potatoes) and alcohol are excluded from the diet.

Basically, this is a high-protein, relatively low-carb diet. The positive aspects of this diet are that it eliminates processed foods, a major source of added sugar, salt and fat in the American diet.

The diet also eliminates sugar and refined grains, both of which contribute to obesity and diabetes and can lead to increases in dangerous belly fat, which has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

In addition, the diet encourages a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts (except peanuts, which are legumes) and seeds, all of which are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.

The cons are:

1. The diet eliminates dairy, an affordable and widely available source of bone-building calcium (and vitamin D when dairy foods are fortified) and protein (yes, calcium can be obtained from greens and other foods, but it is more challenging to consume adequate amounts.)

2. The diet eliminates all grains, including whole grains, which are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and heart healthy fiber, and foods such as beans, peanuts and sweet potatoes, all of which have numerous health-promoting qualities.

3. The diet is high in animal protein, which could lead to an excess intake of saturated fat, resulting in elevated cholesterol levels, an increased risk of heart disease and increased risk of certain types of cancer.

4. Finally, the diet can be expensive (grass-fed, organic meats and eggs are more expensive) and inconvenient due to the limitation of food choices, both of which make this diet less practical for the average person long term.

Overall, I would steer clear of the Paleo diet, but we can take away something from our ancestors by eating foods closer to their natural state (less processed), which are more nutrient-dense and digested more slowly by the body. In most cases, they lead to better hunger control, more stable blood sugar levels and weight loss if calories are reduced and exercise is increased (as it sounds like they are in your case).

Got a question for our experts? Submit it here and make sure to follow Dr. Melina Jampolis on Twitter.

soundoff (1,577 Responses)
  1. 먹튀검증업체

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS. I donít understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    February 9, 2021 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Richard Starnold

    I've heard it a million times... I'm going to quit my job, I'm going to start my own business, I'm going to live where I want, and I'm going to live the dream... Enough talk. Everyone's got a vision. Fine. What exactly have you done lately to make it come true? Not much, you say? If everyone suddenly got injected with the truth serum, you'd hear people talk a different game: Hi, my name is Dave. I've got huge dreams. But I'm a failure, because I did nothing to make these dreams come true. I'm too afraid to start. I procrastinate about taking action. I will probably never do anything or amount to anything in my life, because I choose to stay in my comfort zone. Incidentally, the first step to changing your life is to be honest about how you feel. Are you afraid? Fine. Are you anxious? Fine. Do you procrastinate? Great. This means you have to start with a tiny step. Something that isn't as intimidating as making a million dollars in the next 12 months. How about making your first $100.00 online? Doesn't sound too far out of reach, right? Here's a great place to start https://tinyurl.com/y5lq8lns


    February 9, 2021 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Top Mutual Funds

    This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!


    February 9, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. http://www.fokuszpalyazat.hu/rolunk

    You are a very capable person!


    February 9, 2021 at 03:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. exercise machines

    It's remarkable to visit this web page and reading the views of all
    friends regarding this paragraph, while I am also zealous of getting

    February 9, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 출장안마

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you ought to publish more about this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but typically folks don't talk about these issues. To the next! Many thanks!!


    February 10, 2021 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. top cheap dumpster rental

    Of course, what a fantastic website and revealing posts, I definitely will bookmark your site.Best Regards!


    February 10, 2021 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Movies News

    Would you be excited by exchanging hyperlinks?


    February 11, 2021 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. slot online

    We want to raise awareness of the importance for children in sports – as well a focus on developing their own abilities within these beautiful games which help them develop physical fitness,
    self-confidence with teamwork and imagination throughout their years at school and
    beyond.We want to raise awareness of the importance for children in sports – as well a focus on developing their own abilities within these beautiful games which help them
    develop physical fitness, self-confidence with teamwork
    and imagination throughout their years at school and beyond.

    February 11, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 먹튀천국


    February 11, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 먹튀검증사이트

    I needed to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to look at new things you postÖ


    February 11, 2021 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. my response

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a
    amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how can we communicate?

    February 12, 2021 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 출장마사지

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post plus the rest of the site is very good.


    February 12, 2021 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. home accessories

    I am actually thankful to the owner of this website who has shared this
    fantastic post at at this place.

    February 12, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. kids bedding

    These are actually impressive ideas in regarding blogging.
    You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    February 13, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. childrenscurtainsxyz

    Right away I am going away to do my breakfast,
    later than having my breakfast coming again to read more news.

    February 13, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Fast Dispatch Home Loan in Pune

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the ultimate section 🙂 I take care of such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.


    February 13, 2021 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 토토사이트

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought to publish more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people do not speak about such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!


    February 13, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. What Does Dr. Marty's Dog Food Look Like

    This information is invaluable. Where can I find out more?

    February 13, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Benjamin Mengle

    I appreciate you sharing this article post. Fantastic.


    February 13, 2021 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 먹튀천국

    This excellent website certainly has all of the info I wanted concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    February 14, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 부산출장안마

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    February 14, 2021 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 출장안마

    Great info. Lucky me I found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I've book-marked it for later!


    February 14, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 먹튀사이트


    February 14, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Orval Lachowsky

    I'm interested in fashion and I want to start a blog but I have no idea where to start or how to get people interested in my blog. Any ideas welcome..


    February 15, 2021 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Jacinta Vandermeulen

    Computer question (How long does an average person keep a computer for?


    February 15, 2021 at 05:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 먹튀검증업체

    Good web site you've got here.. Itís hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    February 15, 2021 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Pat Tinn

    Awesome post. I am a normal visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a regular visitor for a long time.


    February 16, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. High-Do-Follow Forum-Backlinks

    500000 Scrapebox Blast Live SEO blog Comment Backlinks: https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/842132/500000-Scrapebox-Blast-Live-SEO-blog-Comment-Backlinks


    February 16, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Visit

    That is really interesting, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to looking for extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks!


    February 16, 2021 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 서울출장마사지


    February 16, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 우리카지노계열


    February 16, 2021 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Best-Social-Media-Services and-Traffic-2021

    Best Social Media Services and Website Traffic Services 2021: https://www.seoclerk.com/user/jackpower99


    February 16, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. zero liquid discharge plant

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be at the net the easiest thing to understand of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while folks consider issues that they plainly do not recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out the entire thing with no need side-effects , other folks can take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thanks


    February 17, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Rene Sulser

    I'm looking to find out as much about the online surfing community as I can. Can anyone recommend their favorite blogs, twitter handles, or sites that you find most comprehensive? Which ones are most popular? Thanks!.


    February 17, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. water treatment plant images

    I precisely desired to say thanks once again. I do not know what I would've accomplished without these ideas revealed by you concerning my field. It was actually a real frightful difficulty for me, but seeing your expert avenue you solved that forced me to jump with fulfillment. I am thankful for your assistance and thus believe you really know what a powerful job that you are providing teaching other individuals with the aid of your website. I am sure you haven't come across any of us.


    February 17, 2021 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 천안출장


    February 17, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. dog beds on sale

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with such a brilliant possiblity to read critical reviews from this website. It really is so kind and as well , full of a great time for me and my office colleagues to search the blog particularly thrice per week to see the fresh guidance you have got. And indeed, I'm so at all times fulfilled concerning the astounding inspiring ideas served by you. Some two points in this article are certainly the best I've ever had.


    February 18, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 우리카지노계열


    February 18, 2021 at 04:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 우리카지노쿠폰

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    February 18, 2021 at 05:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. scrapality

    The only point I regret is not having found your blog site before.


    February 18, 2021 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. best independent Italian spot

    Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!


    February 18, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Website Authority

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I've truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!


    February 18, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 퍼스트카지노주소

    Iím impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog thatís both educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this during my search for something regarding this.


    February 18, 2021 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 우리카지노계열

    Unlike caffeine drug treatments that are routinely used across
    the country, the homeopathic remedies haven't any dangerous
    side effects. The procedure for spinal degeneration will not
    be an inevitable section of aging. These factors can become a
    life-changing injury should your career will depend on your fitness level or being on your feet for prolonged periods.

    February 18, 2021 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 퍼스트카지노쿠폰

    I truly love your website.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my own site and want to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thanks!


    February 19, 2021 at 06:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Best Socialmediaservices

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more. Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/


    February 19, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. SocialMedia Services2021

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/services


    February 19, 2021 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. 천안출장안마


    February 19, 2021 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 10vina.com

    Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it's really informative. I'm gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!


    February 20, 2021 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Leave a Reply to Mercedes Sprinter Repair Shops


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.